NEW YORK -- The top general manager in pro sports, at least according to a Forbes.com ranking?
Kevin McHale of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
General managers were graded on two things: performance vs. the performance of their predecessor, and payroll relative to the league median when compared to their predecessor. Because winning is more important than payroll, Forbes.com double-weighted winning percentage to penalize a GM who cut costs but also hurt his team's winning percentage.
Using that metric, McHale is No. 1, Jay Feaster of the Tampa Bay Lightning is No. 2, Billy King of the Philadelphia 76ers is No. 3, A.J. Smith of the San Diego Chargers is No. 4 and Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils is No. 5.
Billy Beane of Oakland is the highest-ranking baseball GM, coming in at No. 26.
McHale earned the top spot, according to Forbes.com, by leading Minnesota to eight playoff berths and a .539 regular-season win percentage. The Timberwolves won less than 25 percent of their games before McHale arrived.
Minnesota salaries have climbed 19 percent more than the median NBA salary during his tenure.
Among some of the other notables, New York Rangers GM Glen Sather is 12th, Dallas Cowboys' owner/GM Jerry Jones is No. 13, Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox is No. 30, Jerry West of the Memphis Grizzlies is No. 33 and Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees is No. 61.
Three NFL general managers, Matt Millen of Detroit, Mike Brown of Cincinnati and Michael Lombardi of Oakland, took the bottom three places in the rankings.